15 Feb 2017

Solomons Minister says abuse rare but help needed

7:30 am on 15 February 2017

The Minister of Health in Solomon Islands says there is strong backing for his Child and Family Bill.

Solomon islands school children in class.

Solomon islands school children in class. Photo: Supplied

The bill is being debated in parliament and the minister, Tautai Kaitu'u, said the country had to deal head on with the breakdown of the traditional support structure and abuse within families.

He said this was something that affects only a few Solomons families but the bill would allow for a legal framework for welfare division officers, giving them the power to assist struggling families.

Dr Kaitu'u said he believed families would back the move because in consultations on the bill in the villages it drew strong support.

"The majority of them support this because it takes into account that we must use the cultural, custom positive ways, to always use that as well," said Dr Kaitu'u.